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i think i need some help

Saturday, June 30, 2007

72%How Addicted to Blogging Are You?

Mingle2 - Online Dating



The first step is to admit you have a problem...
'Hi. My name is Tami...and I'm addicted to blogging.'
Okay...what's next?

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holy night terror, batman!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Last night Meshack and I were playing a nightly game...name that child.

I was sitting on the floor of our 1850s home, thumbing through a baby name book, looking at monikers like Abigail, Lea and Caeley...while he was searching the Internet in hopes of finding something close to E.S...
No such luck.
Then we heard a noise.
A scratchy kind of noise.
A noise like cats jumping up on a window screen.
It was nice yesterday...cool, low humidity, very comfortable. So we had the windows open. I thought for sure our cats, Willie and Wonka, who love to jump on the window screens to get our attention, were up to their old tricks.
I went over to the window to close the curtain.
No cats.
I yelled at them to cut it out anyway and went back to my name search.
A few seconds later we heard it again. This time Meshack got up and went to the window, yelled a bit himself and closed the window.
He had just settled down in the computer chair when we heard the noise again.
Now, there is no way our cats are that dumb. It had to be something else.
As we listened we realized it wasn't coming from outside the house.
It was coming from INSIDE!
Okay...that freaked me out!
The cats are outside. The dog was in the kennel (she's been doing nothing but shedding the last few weeks.) Other than the fish upstairs in Q-ball's fish tank there weren't supposed to be any animals in the house.
And the kids were sleeping soundly in their little beds.
What could it be?!
Ever the practical type, Meshack got up and started the search.
I hid behind the bathroom door.
He finally narrowed it down to our return air vent.
He grabbed a flashlight and peered down into the darkness and then let out a 'man shriek' and jumped about 10 feet.
A BAT!
Okay...that's it. I'm moving out!
Meshack quickly regained his composure and went to work.
While I was trying to find the number for animal control - Meshack went out to his truck and grabbed some of his vet supplies.
It helps having a vet in the house.
I, on the other hand, was no help whatsoever. I quickly realized our small town doesn't have animal control and ran straight upstairs, shut the kids doors, then our own, crawled underneath the covers and prayed he would be able to get the thing out of the house!
Forget what the Bible says about being a help-meet...I'm choosing not to believe God meant it to include trapping bats!
If He informs me otherwise, I'll let you know.
By the time Meshack got back in the house with all of his stuff, the bat was gone. Meshack went down to the basement (brave, isn't he) to see if he could find it.
Nothing.
So he came up to our room to let me know the 'good' news.
He 'thought' it was gone. 'Maybe' it had flown back out the way it had come in.
I asked him to PLEASE call someone in the morning...and he agreed.
He went back downstairs to bring the dog in for the night and as he was passing through the kitchen he saw fluttering in the corner.
THE BAT!
It was flying around the kitchen, trying to find a way out!
Meshack yelled at me to close the bedroom doors again, so I ran down the hall, slamming doors, praying the kids wouldn't wake up.
Downstairs the bat dive bombs Meshack on his way to the living room.
Upstairs, I'm hearing mild expletives, banging and the sound of Meshack running around the house.
Slam!
Bang!
Kapow!
Woosh!
Then...silence.
A few moments later Meshack came back upstairs.
The bat was gone.
Meshack had run through the living room (I told you he was brave!) and opened the front door. The bat...obviously blind, but using his sonar figured this out and after a few failed attempts, flew through the front door and out into the night.
Whew.
The kids slept through the whole thing!

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out of control

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

WARNING: For those of you not theologically inclined, the following discussion may be a bit uncomfortable. I invite you to stay anyway. My faith is a big part of who I am. A part I haven't shared with you in great detail...until now.
----------------------------
I talked with Cheri from our agency today. The dossier is definitely on it's way to Ukraine. I wish I had a tracking number so I could see where it is right now.
I know, I know...I have control issues.
Cheri also said the facilitator is busy with a couple who is in Kiev right now. It must be Brent & Karissa. I've been following their blog for a couple of weeks now and it's neat to read posts from someone who is there...experiencing it. The insight is amazing. How did we ever adopt before blogs? The feedback from other couples takes some of the edge off the unknown.
I need that.
To be honest, now that we're getting closer to actually having this dossier submitted, I'm starting to get a little shaky.
Not because I'm having second thoughts.
It's more a fear of the unknown.
Even though we've been through all of this before, the reality is - it's not Russia.
It's Ukraine.
It's new...full of uncertainty.
I'm starting to feel a lot of the same trepedation I experienced eight years ago, right before we traveled to get Q-ball. All the 'what ifs' are already crowding in.

  • What if we aren't able to come up all the funding?
  • What if we there aren't any little girls available at our SDA appointment?
  • What if she doesn't like us?
  • What if she has a diagnosis we aren't prepared for?
  • What if the kids don't accept her?
  • What if we can't come up with a name?! :)
They're all things I don't need to worry about.
Things I don't have to worry about.
Because God is in control.
Not me.
Therein lies the truth.
The source of my anxiety can be found in the fact that I'm not in control.
I really DO have control issues.
Here I sit, clicking from blog to blog, offering advice to other traveling parents. Giving them tips on encouraging bonding, milestones to look for, questions to ask caregivers and making sure they pack a big bottle of Woolite...all the while offering words of encouragement about relying on Christ instead of our own strength.
And I don't even follow my own advice!
The truth is I need to lose control.
I need to hand it all over.
I need to realize I'm in much better hands when I let God get in the driver's seat.
The great thing about my Abba Father is he won't force his way behind the wheel. Instead, he will sit back patiently waiting for me to hand him the keys.
Something I have to remind myself to do...daily.
It's what my mom calls the 'old flesh' pattern - the old way of doing things.
I haven't introduced you to my mom yet, have I?
You'd like her.
She's an incredibly smart, insightful, patient woman.
She's a friend of God.
A Christian counselor.
An amazing resource of spiritual advice.
And sometimes I think she can read my mind! :)
She's the one I turn to for Biblical insight. And right now I don't even have to call her to hear her advice.
'Hand it over, Tami.
'Pray about it.'
'Let God be God.'
'Let Him be in control.'
Great lessons...every one.
But tough ones for me to learn.
Thirty plus years after accepting Christ, I'm no closer than I was at the age of six to completely handing over the keys.
But I'm willing to work on it.

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a rose by any other name...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Have you ever noticed how hard it is to come up with a kid's name?
It seemed so easy when we were teenagers in love.
Meshack and I (yes, we were high school sweethearts), used to jokingly talk about the names our kids would have. We came up with monikers like Bo, Katelyn and Shae.
Now, I can't stand 'em. Not that they're bad names. It's just that they're just too...I don't know...80s.
Anyway...
That's what has me so gun-shy.
Meshack and I have a tendency to get trapped in the popular naming trend-of-the-decade and stick our kids with names that date them. Now, I'm afraid of giving our precious little girl a tag that in a few years will date her back to the late 2000s.
We've already done it to the other three.
Q-ball was almost a Peyton...you know...after the Colts quarterback. WE'RE NOT EVEN COLTS FANS! He ended up getting named after the journalism program at my alma matter...a unique name...but definitely a product of the late 90s. At least it's one our friends and family can pronounce.
Not so for our daughter. We definitely got stuck in the 'make the name as unique as possible, early 00's trend.) Punky is named after the journalism building at our alma-matter. It's a name nobody would ever guess and absolutely no one can pronounce correctly. In fact it's a word no one has ever heard before...except for fellow alum. (You should hear the comments from people at football games who hear me call out to her! :) Everyone else who hears it, at first mispronounces it and then she has to correct them. And while they all say what a great name is, the truth is, she's scarred for life. I imagine someday she'll give up altogether and start using her Russian middle name.
JacJac lucked out. He was named after a one of the greatest basketball coaches to ever coach at our alma matter. (Do you see a theme here?) That meant he ended up with a pretty normal designation, but of course not a normal spelling. (We couldn't let him off that easy.) No one gets it...and often it's mistaken for another name.
(Boy I wish I could stop speaking in code and just tell you what their names are!)
With all of that being said, Meshack and I have worked really hard in the last four months to come up with something for our daughter-to-be that we both like and can live out our days with a clear conscious. (If you thought our daughter's name was going to be Maddie, please check out the post entitled, what's in a name?...it will fill you in on the craziness we have gone through to name our kids.)
Anyway...
Last night we thought we finally had it...the perfect name.

We had agonized, struggled, argued and negotiated.
We had gone through list, upon list, upon list of possible names. Scratching through them as we found one reason after another not to keep it.
Finally we were left with one...
E. S.
Isn't it cute?
(No...of course I'm not going to give you the real name! If you really want to know, email me and I'll fill you in.)
Anyway...
As we were going to bed, chatting about how clever we were and about how we had just come up with the perfect name, Meshack suddenly realized something.
His boss' DOG is named that!
*$!%
Sigh.
Sigh.
Sigh.

I DON'T CARE.
She's going to have the name anyway!
We've worked too hard.
Besides the dog won't live forever. In another decade or so she'll be gone and our E.S. will still be around.
And in the meantime we just won't take E.S. to the clinic...
And if we do, we'll call her by the full name instead of the nickname.
That'll work...
Yeah...
Sigh.
I think we're back to square one.

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she leaves on friday

Sunday, June 24, 2007

My sister-in-law, Valerie, is leaving for China this week...

and she's bringing me back a niece.
Isn't she precious?!
I'm so excited.
I can't wait to meet Kaycee.
If you have time, please stop by Valerie's website and wish her well. She's a bit nervous. She's traveling overseas for the first time..and my brother can't go with her. It's their first time adopting. She's not a fan of flying. And she's convinced she's forgetting something!
I've talked her ear off about our three adoption trips and tried to encourage her that it will be alright in the end, but she's still nervous.
If you have time, please offer her some enouraging words.
******************
P.S. - My brother and their four kids won't be able to go on this trip. Please send up an extra prayer not only for Valerie and Kaycee, but my brother...and the kids! :-)

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finished, fini, beendet, rifinito, закончено

Friday, June 22, 2007

Its gone.
I know I've said that before, but this time it's really gone.
It's left the United States!
Our agency received the last of the packages today...they photocopied it and sent it on it's long journey to Ukraine. The facilitator should get it sometime late next week.
Now we're in line at the SDA.
The real wait begins.

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special delivery

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Bad blogger...bad blogger...bad, baaaad blogger!!!!!
Okay, I have sufficiently scolded myself for my long absence. But in my defense this is baseball week.
A baseball game...
Every night...
In a different town...
Late at night...
I knew it was coming, but boy this week has been tough. Shhhh...don't tell my social worker, but the kids have eaten their weight in hot dogs and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches this week. I promise to do better at meal planning next week...or maybe the next week, after tournaments are over.
Anyway...where was I...oh, yes. An update.
When I left you, Meshack was on his way to hand-deliver our dossier to the Kansas Secretary of State's office...
Well...
Meshack and the kids took off for Topeka early Tuesday morning on their mission.
They headed to the Secretary of State's office to get 28 dossier documents apostilled and sent on their way to our agency in Texas.
Right after they left I got paranoid and decided to give the SOS a call. After all, it had been eight years since we had any documents apostilled in the Sunflower State. Everything may have changed since then. It rang a couple of times before Georgia answered.
I introduced myself and told her Meshack was on his way to get 28 apostilles...
"You still take walk-ins, don't you?"
"Oh yes," she replied. "No problem."
"Can you take a check or a debit card?"
"Absolutely."
"Great," I said. "He'll be there in a couple of hours."
"Alright, I'll be looking for him," she said. "And don't you worry...we'll take care of him!"
After I hung up, I had to laugh. She must get a ton of phone calls from pre-adoptive moms who have sent their precious dossiers with their husbands to the statehouse.
She probably has some pretty good stories.
Anyway...
She did take very good care of him. He called me once when he got turned around in downtown Topeka and couldn't figure out where he was going. I got him straightened out and about an hour later he called and said mission accomplished!
Wow! That was fast!
Then came the hard part...finding a post office.
I had forgotten to find the address for a post office the night before (and couldn't remember well enough to give Meshack directions over the phone, so I googled 'post office, Topeka.'
Who knew there would be 15 post offices?!!!
I found the closest one and sent him in search of the central post office, downtown.
A little while later he called again.
It seems that when they added 28 pieces of paper, aka - apostilles, to the dossier, it made the dossier too big to fit in the package I had so carefully prepared and labeled.
Sooo...he had to figure out another way. A co-worker of mine finally came up with the idea of splitting the documents into three packages (to protect them), and putting them into a bigger box to overnight.
Whew! Quick thinking...thanks Lindy.
He got the whole thing assembled, all the while keeping track of Q-ball, Punky and the ever elusive JacJac...and sent it on it's merry way. He even had enough time to stop by Wally-world and pick up groceries!
What a guy!
And the best news is it definitely saved us a day or two. The Kansas package was the first set of documents to arrive at our agency. They were delivered at 12:28 yesterday morning. Today the mailman dropped off Colorado and Virginia...and I just checked...Missouri should be there tomorrow!
Once Missouri gets there, our dossier is officially complete and should be ready to be sent to Ukraine!
Wow!
We're almost there!

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i think i'm cheap

Monday, June 18, 2007

Well that just about broke the bank.
I didn't realize just how much the post office charged for overnighting something. I mean, I knew it was expensive, but $16.24 per package!
Times six!
O.M.W!
Maybe I'm just cheap.
I've been wondering about that.
Here I am complaining about how much apostilles cost in my state when people in Washington like M have to pay $15/document without a break for adoption. At least mine cost half that!
It could have been a lot worse.
We need to do something about this!
Anyway...
Virginia, Colorado and Missouri are on their way to their respective Secretary of State offices...or in the case of Virginia - Secretary of the Commonwealth (it sounds kind of poetic!)
But since I'm so cheap...Meshack is hand-delivering the Kansas one, getting the 28 documents apostilled and mailing it out himself tomorrow afternoon. It will save us a little in postage (although that's probably negated by gas prices) and will buy us an extra day or so.
Please pray he survives...he's also taking the three kids with him.
Should be 'fun.'
Hmmmmm...
On second thought, maybe I should just take the day off and do it myself.
At least that way at the end of the day I'll still have a husband and three children. ;)

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the state of our checkbook

Saturday, June 16, 2007

He finally came.
The Fed Ex man brought our papers.
Wouldn't you know it - he came five minutes after I left to go pick up Q-ball. I had been waiting around all morning - doing little jobs, keeping busy, typing up a beautiful blog about waiting for him to arrive. And the minute I pull out of the driveway - he pulls in.
When I got home from washing the van (a long story for another blog), I found it neatly tucked in between my front door and the screen door.
Thank goodness he didn't need a signature.
I immediately ripped open the package and started thumbing through the paperwork...figuring out what I had to do next. Our paperwork rep had everything all lined out for us.
We needed to write a nice little letter requesting apostilles for our documents and send that along with a check to the addresses listed.
I started writing out the checks...
Colorado cost $4 for two apostilles...
Missouri $20 for two apostilles...
Virginia, $10 for one apostille...
Kansas - $210 for 28 apostilles!
O.M.W.!!!!
I love my state. I really do. There are a million and one reasons to live here. Clean air...plenty of space...beautiful scenery...great roads.
But be warned...if you live in Kansas and are trying to do an international adoption - the fees for apostilles will decimate your checkbook!!!!!
I had forgotten about this part!
If we would have just crossed the border and had the same person who notarized my employment verification, notarize all the rest of our documents, we could have saved $180. You see, Missouri has this great law that a couple can only spend $100 on apostilles for any one adoption.
How nice of them!
Their roads stink...but they are adoption family friendly.
I'm going to do something about this!
My congressmen are going to be hearing from me. Their only saving grace right now is that they just wrapped up the congressional session...which makes them a little more difficult to find.

But give me a few weeks.
I'll track them down and we're going to have a nice little chat about apostille charges and re-adoption requirements.

******************
BTW - Q-ball had a great time with his friend, and I survived his first overnight! Yippee! :)

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a night out with the guys

Friday, June 15, 2007

Well...the documents didn't get here.
It really shouldn't suprise me. I'm the only one who is on my timeline. I either need to get everyone else to join me at warp speed...
OR...
I need to just learn to cope.
I'm thinking it's going to have to be the latter.
It's not going to do me any good to get frustrated when the rate at which other people do their job is completely out of my hands.
I can't make people type faster, I can't make the Fed Ex man drive any faster or make a return trip to pick up my precious documents and I certainly can't make delivery men work on Sunday.
So, I'll just have to wait.
Sigh.
Besides...
I have other things to worry about.
Q-ball is on his first sleep-over tonight.
Now THAT is something worth worrying about for many reasons...
He's never spent the night away from home before.
He's never stayed with anyone besides us or his grandparents.
He's staying with a friend that I know, but I don't know THAT well.
I know they're NOT criminals.
I know they live in the country.
I know they make their kids mind.
I know they love their two kids to pieces.
Other than that, I don't know much.
I'm just a little worried.
Tonight before he left, Q-ball was trying to comfort me! :)
It wasn't like I was losing it or anything...I just had the mother mantra going.
'Now, Q...
'Make sure you brush your teeth...
'Don't forget to use your retainer...
'Eat everything she puts on your plate...
'Remember to say please and thank you...
'Don't do anything you can't do at home...
'Obey her Q-ball...
'Remember no T-rated video games...
'Don't stay...
'Mom,' he interrupted. 'I'm only going to T****'s house. I'm not going to be that far away. I'll be okay.'
Yeah...he will be.
But will I?

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a quick update

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

We're still waiting for our documents.
The agency says they sent them to us via Fed Ex today. They should show up at our house sometime tomorrow.
Then we'll turn right around and send everything off for apostilles on Friday.
Keep your fingers crossed and send up a bunch of prayers! I'd really like to have this thing on it's way to Ukraine by the end of June.
Think it can happen?

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which peanuts character am I?

Okay...I know I promised to do more original posts...and I just got away with a meme, but this was too cute to pass up. I just had to share this from Suzanne.

The first time I filled out this little survey I ended up as Rerun.
Who is Rerun?
So I changed my answers. This time I ended up as...
Lucy!
Aaarrgh! :)
Somehow I think the truth lies somewhere in between!
Who are you?

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summer goals

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

I've been tagged!
Ann Marie over at Bringing Home Bee snagged me with the Summer Goals meme. I'm supposed to come up with 10 professional and or personal goals that I want to achieve over the summer.
Hmmmm....
This is a toughie.
I've never been a goal setter. I mean I set goals in my head, but I rarely write them down.
Maybe that's part of my problem - I just can't keep track of it all.
Anyway...for better or worse, here I go...
  • 1. Be a better mom. I need to have more patience and make more time for the kids. I try, really I do, but it never seems to be enough. And adding another child to the mix will only make it worse.
  • 2. Read to my kids EVERY night. Right now it's hit and miss. If they get to bed at a decent time I can usually get some reading in, but during the summer their bedtimes seem to get later and later. I really need to read to them whether they're going to bed at 8 or 10 p.m.
  • 3. Lose 5 pounds. I know it may not sound like much...but for me this would be a huge step in the right direction. I have a serious will power problem when it comes to food. Especially chocolate. If I would just eat right I could probably start losing some weight, but so far I haven't been able to maintain anything for longer than a day. Sigh.
  • 4. Raise more money for the adoption. This is a biggie. We are trying to do this adoption without using credit. After the first three adoptions and four years of vet school, we're swimming in the deep end. At this point it looks like I'll have to at least put the airline tickets on a card, but I refuse to put anything else on a revolving account. After the Dave Ramsey event Meshack and I really got jazzed about getting rid of our debt. We know we'll have to wait until after we get back from Ukraine to really put the plan into motion, but we're going to try to do everything we can to prevent adding any more to our debt snowball.
  • 5. Start researching schools for my masters. I've been wanting to go back to school for some time now. When we lived in Iowa, I taught at a community college, but when Meshack took this job and we moved out-of-state, I gave that up and started working at a local newspaper. I enjoy my job, really I do. I just LOVED teaching college kids. Unfortunately the community colleges around here require a masters. Sooooo, I need to go back to school. Thank goodness for the Internet!
  • 6. Go on a mini-vacation. Since we skipped our big vacation this summer in lieu of gas prices and adoption savings, we're going a little stir crazy. We need to get away. So we're thinking about heading to an indoor waterpark hotel for a day or two...just enough to have some fun and say we got away. We'll see.
  • 7. Read, read, read. I love nothing better than to have my nose in a really good book. Unfortunately, I don't get to do nearly enough of it. My goal is to read a book a week starting with something by Lori Wick.
  • 8. Get back on track at work. Part of my job is not only to write compelling magazine articles, but also to coordinate the magazine's women's expo. It's a job I love...but it's also a BIG job! Every year the event gets bigger and better...and every year it becomes just a little bit more work. This year is no exception, except that with my head in the adoption and blog world, I don't feel like I'm as on top of things as I need to be. I need to be back on track.
  • 9. Get in touch with old friends. You know how it is. You meet some really great people, develop a good friendship and then someone moves away. It's nobody's fault really, but over time you lose track of them. I have a lot of friends that I've lost track of over the years. In television news you tend to move ALOT...and even after Meshack graduated from vet school and I quit TV we still moved frequently. (Thankfully we've been here for four years! :) It's time I find some of these friends and find out what they're up to.
  • 10. Establish a date night with Meshack. With three (soon to be four) kids it's hard to make time for a date night. One of the things we learned at the Weekend to Remember conference is that we NEED to make time for date nights. We NEED to make time for each other. We haven't done that great of a job since we got home, but we're working on it. We'd like to go out at LEAST once a month. But it's going to have to wait until July. We have baseball every night of the week during the rest of June!
Wow! I did it!
It's amazing really how easy that was. Of course it's probably because every one of these things are very important to me. Hopefully writing them down will make me more likely to get some of them accomplished. Thanks, Ann Marie!
Now for the really fun part...
Tag...Starfish, Jenni, Allison, Steffie and Valerie...you're it!

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grade A

Monday, June 11, 2007

We passed!
And we got an A+!
Actually I don't think they hand out grades...but if they did we would have gotten a perfect score! :)
Our agency paperwork rep emailed this morning to let us know she had finished grading our dossier and everything looks good. We're ready for the next step.
The apostilles.
It really shouldn't be too hard. We have four states to work with. Three of them I've sent documents to before and have gotten things back in a week or less. The fourth state we've never worked with before (home mortgage co.). We'll see how that one goes.
After the apostilles come in then our little (big) stack of papers heads off to Ukraine.
Whew!

Edited to add...
I forgot to mention our agency has decided we should get the apostiles because they think it will save some time. I just think it will give me another headache! Hopefully it won't take too long to get. I should have the packet in the next day or so. I'm considering a trip to our state capital to pick them up, but we also have to get apostilles from Colorado, Missouri and Virginia. I hope this doesn't drag out too long.

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an original

Sunday, June 10, 2007

I promised I would blog something original this weekend and here it is...
There's nothing new.
Wow, that's a bit anti-climatic isn't it?
The truth is, we're at the part in this adoption where things are going to go very slowly...it's something I'm just going to have to get used to.
Or I'll lose my mind.
I sent in our dossier last Saturday..the agency got it on Monday. I finally got antsy and called and emailed them on Wednesday. On Thursday I heard back from them saying, yes, they had received our dossier, thank you very much, but she wasn't going to be able to 'grade' it until Friday. She'd let me know if there were any problems.
So far, I've heard nothing.
Have I mentioned that I'm really not good at waiting?
I thought so.
So I'm going to email again today and call again tomorrow.
I need to know what my grade is!
In the meantime, to keep myself busy I've been reading blogs, cleaning house, paying bills and researching adoption grant programs.
I honestly don't have a lot of hope of getting a grant. We've tried applying for them before and got absolutely nowhere, but we've got to try. I refuse to go more into debt for this adoption.
That's a whole other post.
Hey, at least I'm coming up with some ideas now! :)

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tami's top ten

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Alright...that was too long of a break!

I didn't set out intending to be a slacker this week - although I think I needed it. I know I've posted stuff, but I feel like I've been cheating...linking to other pages, re-posting old stories, saving my memes for when I can't think of anything to write. I hereby promise to blog something completely original this weekend.
Until then, Leanna over at 3 Journeys of the Heart tagged me for my top 10 things about summer. As you all may remember from a previous meme, summer is not my favorite season for one very good reason - WASPS! But there are several things I do love about summer...
So here's my Top 10 - Letterman style...
  • 10. LIGHTNING BUGS - They're so cool! I used to love chasing them as a kid at my grandparent's house in Pennsylvania. I grew up in Colorado and we didn't have the little creatures, so when we visited Grandma and Pap we spent every evening chasing the poor things and capturing them in jars. We now live in an area that has lightning bugs and I love sitting out on the front (or back) porch and watching my kids chase them to their hearts content. Some things never change.
  • 9. MY YARD - I love watching how things grow and change during this warmest of seasons. My grass is coming along nicely thanks to the Green Chemlawn Man. Love him! My flowers and plants are filling in nicely. And there's nothing like hearing the wind blow through the trees. Aaaaah!
  • 8. NO SHOES - I love shoes - really I do. I have tons of shoes! But I also love not having to put socks and shoes on everywhere I go. I'd much rather be barefoot...so summer is the perfect excuse not to wear shoes. I have a few (thousand) pairs of flip-flops that I'll wear to pick up the mail, go for a walk or run to the neighbors. I have a couple pair of sandal-like I'll wear to church, work and to town (meaning bigger town, you know - to shop - for more shoes). But when I'm at home...I don't wear shoes at all! EVER!
  • 7. INDEPENDENCE DAY - I love the parades, fireworks, community barbeque and family fun events like pedal tractor pulls, frog jumps and three-legged races. We live in a great little town that still has all of the above. There's nothing like it...if it isn't 102!
  • 6. FLA-VOR-ICE - You know - the long skinny, push up popsicles. My favorite is grape, followed closely by cherry, lime and whatever flavor the blue ones are. Mmmmm.
  • 5. OPEN WINDOWS - I love sleeping with the windows open! There's nothing like it in the world! The only problem with summer is that you can only do it during the early and very late summer. If it gets above 70 degrees at night, forget it - I'm turning on the air! But if it's in the 60s or below our windows are at least cracked open a bit.
  • 4. BBQ - I love cooking out. Whether its hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken or brats...we're all about cooking out in the summer. First of all, it's cooler - you know how I feel about cool. Secondly, Meshack does the grillin' which means I don't have to - always a good thing. And lastly, it just tastes GOOD! My favorite BBQ menus right now are cheese filled brats, potato salad and watermelon, followed closely by grilled chicken, grilled potatoes and corn on the cob. Mmmmm...
  • 3.LITTLE LEAGUE BASEBALL/SOFTBALL - I know, I know, sometimes it can be a bit like watching paint dry. But I love watching MY kids. They're so cute in their little uniforms. And the looks ontheir faces when they hit the ball, steal a base and find out their team has won is priceless. JacJac starts T-ball this week and I can't wait. He's got the cutest little uniform! ;) Note to self - post some pics.
  • 2. VACATION!!!! - We didn't get to go on our summer vacation this year. Gas prices and the adoption plans nipped that one in the bud, but the ideal vacation for us is a week in northern Minnesota along Lake Superior. Last year we picked up the kids on their last day of school, with suitcases strapped to the luggage rack of the mini-van and took off for six glorious days playing around the greatest of lakes. (See pic above) It was awesome! We really missed it this year and are already planning on making sure we get there next summer.
  • And the top thing I love about summer is...
  • 1. IT'S SHORT! - Summer is only three months long. That's long enough to make me really appreciate my absolute favorite season...FALL!
I hereby tag...
Coming soon...an original blog. I promise.

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free stuff!!!!

Thursday, June 7, 2007

I just found the coolest thing over at Debbie's website - a way to make a free, 20 page bound photo album!
Check it out at Family Reunion: Good Deal Wednesday
If you like scrapbooking you've got to take a look-see!
Now, all I have to do is decide what type of album I'm going to do!
Hmmm....

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confessions of a slacker

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

I'm not a slacker.
Honest.
It's all Meshack's fault that I haven't blogged much.
He's been hogging the computer lately. Between him and the nightly baseball games I haven't been able to sit down at the computer, much less blog. The only time I see a computer screen is at work. And I know you don't want me to get fired for blogging! ;)
I do have a laptop, but I haven't figured out how to hook it up to the internet yet. I need to put in a call to our internet provider.
In the meantime, I'm working on a couple of blogs...one about sacrifices...the other is in response to a tag I received from Leanna. If I can get Meshack off the computer tonight I'll get one posted.
I'm going to check and see if there are any James Bond movies on the tube...that should help! :)

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he's back!

Meshack made it home in one piece last night, just in time to see Punky's game!

The kids were thrilled.
I was pretty happy too, until I saw a picture of where he had been.
Now, I'm just jealous...and a little peeved that he didn't take me with him! I could have fit if he would have taken our biggest suitcase! ;)
Of course that would mean I would have had to come home the same way...and that wouldn't have been so fun.
Meshack got home a little early last night because he flew stand-by on an flight that got in about three hours earlier than his original flight. But somewhere in the change, his luggage got misplaced. We had to drive back to KCI last night after Punky's baseball game and pick it up...six hours after he got in!
They wouldn't send it to him because it wasn't THEIR fault!
UGH!
Have I ever told you about the time my dad's luggage got lost?
I didn't think so...
Here's a post from my old blog about my dad's misadventures...
It's a doozy.
*************************************
POSTCARDS FROM...
My dad went on a trip last Thursday. He headed off to Pennsylvania to visit his brothers. It was a smooth flight. He had a stop in Washington D.C. and then flew into Pittsburgh. But when he got there his luggage was missing.
No big deal, he thought. It would show up soon. But when he asked where it was, they told him it was going to be awhile. His bags not only weren't in the same city...they weren't in the same country, the same continent, or even the same HEMISPHERE!
His bags were in...ETHIOPIA!!!!
How did that happen? I mean COME ON! How is it that a man who is just traveling across the country can become so completely seperated from his luggage? I thought they didn't let bags on a flight without someone being on board to claim it!
It would be incredibly funny...(and still really is :) ...except for the fact that all of his medicine was in that suitcase. Not just the meds he would need for the next two weeks. ALL of his medicine. Mom not only couldn't overnight him anything, she had to go into his doctor's office, have them rewrite the prescriptions and fax them off to a pharmacy in Altoona, PA.
Then, Dad had the unbelievable joy of paying for all of those expensive medications...and he got to spend an evening in the E.R. because he had gone too long without his high blood-pressure pills.
Meanwhile, on my advice, Mom decides to shut off their cell phone which was also hanging out on the African continent. She called up Big Cell Phone company's customer service department and told the confused representative about her dilemma. Unfortunately, he told her, they can't help her. Her name is not on the contract...only Dad can make this call. But there's good news! They don't offer cell phone service in ETHIOPIA!
Thankfully, Dad's suitcase showed up Monday and surprisingly it was all in one piece. (I thought for sure his cell phone would be missing.) His medicine was in there, his cell phone was in there along with his razor and clothing. Of course, he still had to throw away some of his meds because it had been exposed to the heat for too long. But at least he has some clothes to change into!
Too bad luggage can't speak. I bet it would have some stories to tell...I know Dad does.

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tag you're it!

Sunday, June 3, 2007

I've been a part of the blogging community for a few months now and I've seen people getting tagged with a meme, but I never thought it would happen to me. (BTW - How is it pronounced? Is it 'mee mee', 'me mee' or 'meem' - just for future reading reference. I hate mispronouncing stuff, even if it's in my own head.)
So imagine my surprise when Missy tagged me! I'm so excited. I feel like I've joined a club or something! :) I'm just sorry it's taken me so long to get around to posting. With all of the dossier paperwork, it had to take a back seat. I'm sure you understand! :)
So without further ado, here are eight random things about me...followed by a tag of some unsuspecting victims.

  1. 1. I LOVE milk! Not just a little. A LOT! In fact, I don't drink much else. I'll drink water and orange juice, but milk is my favorite. I don't drink soda, coffee or tea at all. I can't stand the stuff. And I don't want anything else in my milk. Just plain old skim milk. Mmmmm.
  2. 2. Summer is wasted on me. Not because I don't like the heat and humidity (although it gets way too hot here.), but because I can't stand WASPS! For some reason that I'm not able to define, I am terrified of them...and it ruins summer for me. I don't like being outside when I know they're around. I go out early in the morning and in the evening after it's cooled off. But in between I stay inside. (Don't worry I go to ball games and stuff, but I'm always on alert and a nervous wreck (inside) if ones comes around.) I'm trying to get better about it and in the last couple of years I have improved. I just make sure when I see a wasp, I get my tail back inside.
  3. 3. I miss working as a photojournalist in T.V. news. I know, I know, all journalists are all evil...but I loved it! I liked knowing that some of the things I covered actually mattered. I took pride in the fact that the reporters I worked with had a conscious and integrity and refused to cover anything in an unprofessional manner. I liked the fact that when the big stories broke I got to be a witness to history (I covered the Oklahoma City Bombing, Bob Dole's run for the presidency). And there is nothing like the thrill of chasing storms - you can't do that in a mini-van with three kids! Don't get me wrong. I wouldn't change my life now for anything. But there are days (especially when big news stories break) that I dream of being back in the newsroom, running like a crazy woman, trying to get the news on the air. Aaaah...the adrenaline rush!
  4. 4. I played on a high school BOYS baseball team as a freshman and sophomore. Meshack and I went to a small high school in rural Colorado. It was so small that anyone could try out for any sport. I played volleyball (All-State my senior year), girls basketball (I stunk), track and baseball. I was also a cheerleader. I don't think the boys liked having me as a teammate on the baseball team and Meshack took a lot of ribbing. I started second base (a couple of guys sat on the bench - hee-hee!) and I had a better batting average than some of the guys. Meshack played first and I played second. Romantic, huh?!
  5. 5. While we're on the subject of high school, I was the salutatorian of my senior class. There were only three kids in the class. ;) In my defense I did have a decent GPA...a 3.7.
  6. 6. I like NASCAR. Not in the "die-hard, I'll pay a thousand bucks for a ticket" kind of way. More of a 'it's a nice diversion when there's no football" kind of way. My favorite driver is Tony Stewart which Meshack grills me about all the time. He says Tony is not a good role model for the kids. I figure he's a hard worker and doesn't give up too easily. Besides, I'm really the only fan in the house so we'll just overlook the temper tantrums. :)
  7. 7. My kids are better eaters than I am. I'm really picky...way too picky for my own good. Thankfully my two oldest kids came wired with pretty good eating habits. My youngest...well, he's learning the hard way that I'm not going to let him learn to be picky. I don't want him to go through what I've endured. I realize my eating habits are my own fault, but it's not easy being finicky. So far it's working. All of the kids are such good eaters that they'll go for their vegetables first and leave their meat for last. They also ask for fruit, yogurt or applesauce for dessert. Cool, huh? Q-ball has actually turned down a chocolate chip cookie for grapes and yogurt before...of course he was really young then and didn't know any better! ;) I don't think that would happen today. I'm working on my pickiness...I'll actually eat some bits of tomato now and then and can handle broccoli and cauliflower with cheese...but you'll have to pay me quite a bit to take a bite of lettuce. And you can forget about anything fishy.
  8. 8. My two brothers and I have unknowingly fulfilled our father's dream. We have all adopted at least one of our children. Of course, all three (soon to be four) of ours are adopted. My brother 'Leo' adopted his older two and is getting ready to head to China to adopt a little girl; and my youngest brother 'Lou' is in the process of adopting his oldest daughter and is thinking about adopting internationally in the next few years.A few months ago my parents and I were talking and they revealed to me that years ago, after Louis was born, they thought about adopting...but my mom didn't think she could handle another child at the time. (I blame my brothers for that! :) They never got back around to considering adoption. Now, 25+ years later more than half of their grandchildren are adopted (eight out of 13!). Cool, huh?!
That's it. Eight random bits of useless information about me. I hereby tag...

- Jessica - 'Just Another Day in Paradise'
- E - 'Looking for George'
- Valerie - 'Bringing Home Kaycee'

They're all wonderful people and great bloggers. I hope they'll play along...it will be fun to learn more about them. If they've already been tagged, please forgive me. I also tag those of you who haven't been tagged yet. I hope you'll accept. I'd love to learn more about you!

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it's gone!

Saturday, June 2, 2007

It's done.
Whew.
There was a time yesterday when I didn't think it was going to happen.
First off, it took Meshack and the kids forever to come back from Wally World. A trip to Wally World is NEVER a quick process for our family. We ALWAYS come out of there with way more than we could ever use, but they were on strict orders to get the paper and come straight home. We had stuff to do.
Come to find out they went to the clinic to pick up his paycheck. One less thing I'd have to worry about while he's gone.
Thanks, Meshack. ;)
When they finally got home, Meshack finished packing and the kids ate lunch while I printed off the 14 documents (x 3) that needed our John Hancock's. Yes, that's 42 pieces of paper. Now really, our agency only needs the 14...but after three international adoptions I can tell you there is a definitely method to my madness.
I get the extra two copies for a very good reason.
I'm a control freak.
I have a white three-ring notebook filled with plastic sleeves and in those plastic sleeves I keep two extra copies of our dossier (without apostilles). That way when we travel to Ukraine I can take a set with me...and if, heaven forbid, something were to happen to my little book, there's another set here at home that my family has access to and can send us any form we may need.
See...I told you it was a good reason! ;)
Crazy...I know.
Anyway...
At 1:30 we headed over to the bank. Our wonderful notary gave me an odd look and fought off hand-cramps every time I pulled another set of papers out of the folder. She was a trooper. Big kudos to her and the two other bank workers we wrangled into witnessing a couple of the documents.
We got out of there around 2 p.m. and raced to the airport where Meshack's plane left at 3:50 p.m.
We made it with a few minutes to spare.
We watched Meshack's plane take off then the kids and I raced home, ate supper and headed off to Q-ball's baseball game.
One very busy day.
This morning, bright and early, I put all of the extremely precious documents into a file folder (with some extra cardboard) and then into a mailer and sent it off to the agency.
OUR DOSSIER IS GONE!!!!!!
From here on out it's all in the very capable hands of our agency.
They get the apostilles for us - thank you very much - that's one less headache.
And then our dossier flies to Ukraine.
The end is in sight.
Wow.

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run, run, run

Friday, June 1, 2007

The race is on!

We got the e-mail full of documents...14 of them to be exact...and we're going to get them all done...
TODAY!
I know, I know. I'm a glutton for punishment. But remember, my self-imposed deadline is to get them all turned around and back to the agency this weekend!
That's the goal.
I have my doubts.
The hard part about all of this is that Meshack's plane leaves at 3:30 this afternoon...
And we're out of paper.
Soooooo....
Meshack and all three kids are off on a mission to Wally World to find more paper. Meanwhile, I'm at home washing clothes and packing (all while blogging and finding a notary).
Talk about multi-tasking.
Good thing I had my Wheaties this morning! :)

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